The “Body and the Beat” album and the song “Rain” kept Dragon in the Charts between 1983 and 1986.
In 1986, they released the hard rock sounding “Dreams Of Ordinary Man” album which was certified Platinum in Australia and kept their comeback alive.
In 1987, they dropped a cover song, “Celebration” from Kool And The Gang. And it went to Number 1 on the Australian charts and stayed in the Top 10 for quite some time.
I’m not a real fan of that song but it made business sense to cover it because of it’s cross over appeal. It was played in night clubs, parties and everywhere you went in Australia, you heard Dragon’s version.
And then in April 1989, they dropped “Bondi Road”, their ninth studio album.
And no one knew it at the time but it was to be the last album of new material to be released during singer Marc Hunter’s lifetime, who passed away from throat cancer in 1998 at 44 years of age.
Bondi Beach is listed as a place to visit in Sydney for tourists. It’s also the place where the reality TV show, “Bondi Rescue” is filmed which shows the lifeguards basically saving tourists from the waters.
With a title that involves the word “Bondi”, summer always comes to mind, however they dropped the album in April, which in the Southern Hemisphere, is the second month of Autumn.
But by the time October rolled around (the second month of Aussie spring), the album had grown in momentum and really became a summer album for the months of December, January and February.
It’s one of their best songs, a hard rock classic. And it’s not even written by the band, written by keyboardist Alan Mansfield and his partner, vocalist Sharon O’Neill, who as a songwriting team have written other songs for Dragon which became fan favorites.
The song also had a massive resurgence in popularity following Marc Hunter’s death in 1998.
And on guitar they have the great Tommy Emmanuel. Apart from being an accomplished solo artist and an amazing guitar player at that, Emmanuel has amassed a lot of session credits here in Australia and in the U.S.
Plus a special mention to the awesome backing vocals of Mary Azzopardi and Wendy Matthews.
It’s a great opener and then I felt lost listening to the next songs.
“Blue Blue”, “Book of Love”, “Here Am I”, “Ice in this Town” and “Gold in the River” failed to capture the intensity and fire of the opening track.
Then the Intro riff started for “Bondi Road” and I was back in. It’s all in clean tone but it’s got this rock blues funk groove which I like.
Written by Johanna Pigott and Todd Hunter, who also wrote “Rain”, however this time around vocalist Marc Hunter also has a songwriting contribution.
You couldn’t have an album called “Bondi Road” without having a song called “Summer” on it.
This one is written by David Hirschfelder, Marc Hunter and Wendy Hunter.
It’s major key riff, rocks hard but the way it’s delivered, it feels like I’m on the beach, soaking in the summer rays.
Then came “Family Man” and the album lost me again.
It rocks out of the gate with a hard rock riff.
Another track written by the team of Alan Mansfield and Sharon O’Neill.
Good Time Girl
Mansfield and O’Neill contribute another song.
The rock sounds of Free and Bad Company start the song, and it moves into a riff similar to “Young Years”.
Stick around for the Chorus.
And yes the stand alone single was given an album as well.
The album was Certified Gold in Australia, a bit lower than the previous albums and a sign of the changing times.